I’m Present-able Now
I AM MY OWN PERSON. That is a powerful declaration and also the greatest of responsibilities. How many times have I said to someone else, “I just want you to be you.” How many times have others said the same about me?
How often are we really our own person?
Most of us, me included, have spent a remarkable amount of our lives “dressing the part.” We get up in the morning and carefully choose what to wear. We apply copious layers of makeup and try to ‘bring out’ our best look. If the makeup looks better than the outfit, we change clothes. If we receive a phone call that says plans have changed, we change again.
I check the weather. I check my looks. I even check how the way I look, will ‘look’ next to the people I will be with that day. I judge my appearance based on pleasing someone else. Am I ready for the day? Will I fit in? Will they like my outfit? Will they notice my hair? Questions I have wasted time asking myself on a daily basis. All of them asked and answered to try and make myself…
Present – Able
It isn’t only the looks of the body that I try to change to be more pleasing to and accepted by others. I have also packaged myself to be “present-able” in other ways. I have ‘packaged’ my speech. Changing the tone if I am ‘the mother’, switching again to be ‘the wife’, ‘the employee’ or friend. I am constantly looking for ways to pretty myself for others.
One of my grandmothers I believe told me once, “The mark of a credible man comes from the cleanliness of his speech.” Wise words and ones I have remembered but failed to live up to at times.
As if my looks and speech were not enough, I have gone so far as to change who I am to please those around me. I give myself away at that point. I am no longer my own person. I am a likeness of you in my skin. Or a likeness of what I think you might like in my skin.
I found that to be the most horrible gift. I rob not only you but myself as well. I find this especially true around the Holidays. How many times have I put on the ‘smiling face’ and sat through a horrible gathering just so everyone else will be pleased? Pleased at what? I am miserable and they are themselves ‘putting on a smile’ to get through it too.
In the constant quest to just be me, I am looking at every aspect of myself. I find the reflection of who I am mirrored in your eyes. So if I choose to become “present-able” to you, I am seeing the reflection of the packaging, not me. I become present-able when I can honestly see my own Christ-like reflection in you. I then become a gift to both of us. I then become presentable.
William Shakespeare says it best but I didn’t fully understand the passage until recently.
“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man”
He is speaking about being ourselves. Our true selves. Only then can we be our own person. When I change my outward appearance to mask the inside, I deceive myself into believing that I can only be as much as the packaging allows. In other words, when I try to become present-able to you, I rob us both of the potential of my being. I cannot rise above the painting of myself.
The only way then to truly be “present-able” is to be me. That is my intention. Not just for this year. This is my lifelong quest. To just be me and that will be presentable enough.
(Ok. For old time’s sake…Was this post presentable?) 🙂
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” ~Steve Jobs